5-year-old isn’t letting treatment stop him from being a kid

Coale was born with 12 broken bones and continues to receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, CHOG.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 1:08 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - This Miracle Monday, we’re introducing you to a five-year-old born with brittle bone disease.

Coale was born with 12 broken bones and continues to receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, CHOG.

Despite the number of times Coale has broken bones, he’s still one tough kid full of personality. Although he was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as OI, or brittle bone disease, that doesn’t stop him from being a kid.

“I love playing basketball with Mrs. Han. It’s the most brilliant game I’ve ever seen,” he said.

When Rebecca Peace had an ultrasound at 20 weeks, doctors noticed his limbs were measuring a little bit shorter.

That’s when she was referred to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, where she was told Coale has OI type III.

“The question was was I allowed to pick up my other children? Could pressure on my stomach break his bones? How should I sleep? Could I exercise? Just things I didn’t have to think about with my other two children,” said Peace.

OI is when bones break easily, often with no obvious cause or minimal injury.

“Then it was how do we hold him How do we nurse him? How do we change his diaper? Does he wear clothes? If he does wear clothes, how do you get a shirt on a child with broken arms and broken legs,” Peace questioned.

She relied heavily on help from her nurses and Doctor Bryan, who was there to answer every question.

“The second that I need anything or just have a quick question, or did I do this right, or does this look right, can I come in right this second? It’s always a yes,” she said,

Peace has learned about treating OI through the hospital and other parents online. If you ask Coale, he would say his mom has done a great job.

“My mom is the sweetest,” he said.

Coale has had surgeries to place rods in all long bones to help realign them and reduce the risk of breaks as well as one surgery to replace the old rods.

Since Coale was 10 months old, he has been receiving therapy at CHOG.

Ashlee Inman is the occupational therapist at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. She said: “He’s doing fantastic. He’s such a bright little guy and motivated to do everything we give to him, and on top of that, he has the most supportive family ever that follows through with everything we ask them to do, and they do so much good stuff at home with him too.”

Peace says she and her family are doing their best to push him a little and encourage him to be independent.

“The worst part about OI is being told no, and not being able to try, so there is this fine balance of letting him and try and being responsible parents and keeping him safe,” she said.

Peace says her message to other parents would be to get as much information as they can and educate themselves on OI.

If you want to continue helping make miracles happen at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, visit Augusta University Health.